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Bards
It is said that music has a special magic and the bard proves that saying. Wandering across the land, gathering lore, telling stories, working magic with his music and living on the gratitude of his audience such is the life of a bard. When change or opportunity draws them into a conflict, bards serve as diplomats, negotiators, scouts and spies.

Characteristics: A bard brings forth magic from his soul, not from a book. He can cast only a small number of spells, but he can do so without selecting or preparing them in advance. His magic emphasizes charms and illusions over the more dramatic evocation spells that wizards and sorcerers often use.

In addition to spells, a bard works magic with his music and poetry. He can encourage allies, hold his audiences rapt, and counter magical effects that rely on speech or sound.

Bards have some of the same skills as rogues, although bards are not as focused on skill mastery as rogues are. A bard listens to stories as well as telling them, of course, so he has a vast knowledge of local events and noteworthy items.

Alignment: Any nonlawful. Bards are wanderers, guided by whim and intuition rather than by tradition or law. The spontaneous talent, magic and lifestyle of the bard are incompatible with a lawful alignment.

Other Classes: A bard works well with companions of other classes. He often serves as the spokesperson of the party, using his social skills for the party's benefit. In a party without a wizard or sorcerer, a bard contributes his magic. In a party without a rogue, a bard uses rogue skills.

Role: The bard is perhaps the ultimate generalist. In most adventuring groups, he works best in a supporting role. The bard makes all the other characters better at what they do and can often fill in for another character when needed.

Abilities: Charisma determines how powerful a spell a bard can cast, how many spells he can cast per day and how difficult those spells are to resist. Charisma, Dexterity and Intelligence are important for many of the bard's class skills.

Hit Die: d6

Class Skills

  • Appraise, Tumble, Bluff, Concentration, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Perform, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Spellcraft and Use Magic Device.


  • Skill Points at 1st Level: (6 + Int modifier) x 4.


  • Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 6 + Int modifier.


  •  The Bard
    Level
    Base Attack Bonus
    Fort Save
    Refx Save
    Will Save
    Special
    1st
    0
    0
    +2
    +2
    Bardic Music, Bardic Knowledge, Countersong,Fascinate, Inspire Courage +1
    2nd
    +1
    0
    +3
    +3
    ---
    3rd
    +2
    +1
    +3
    +3
    Inspire Competence
    4th
    +3
    +1
    +4
    +4
    ---
    5th
    +3
    +1
    +4
    +4
    ---
    6th
    +4
    +2
    +5
    +5
    Intimidate
    7th
    +5
    +2
    +5
    +5
    ---
    8th
    +6/+1
    +2
    +6
    +6
    Inspire Courage +2
    9th
    +6/+1
    +3
    +6
    +6
    Inspire Greatness
    10th
    +7/+2
    +3
    +7
    +7
    ---

    Class Features

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A bard is proficient with all simple weapons, plus the longsword, rapier, sap, short sword and shortbow. Bards are proficient with light armor, medium armor and shields (except tower shields).

    Because the somatic components required for bard spells are relatively simple, a bard can cast spells while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. However, like any other arcane spellcaster, a bard wearing medium or heavy armor or using a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component (most do). A multiclass bard still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.

    Spells: A bard casts arcane spells (the same type of spells available to sorcerers and wizards) that are drawn from the bard spell list. A bard can cast any spell he or she knows without preparing for it ahead of time. Every bard spell has a verbal component. To learn or cast a spell, a bard must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. Like other spellcasters, a bard can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day.

     Bard Spells Per Day
    Spell Level
    0
    1
    2
    3
    4
    Bard Level
    ---
    ---
    ---
    ---
    ---
    1st
    2
    ---
    ---
    ---
    ---
    2nd
    3
    0
    ---
    ---
    ---
    3rd
    3
    1
    ---
    ---
    ---
    4th
    3
    2
    0
    ---
    ---
    5th
    3
    3
    1
    ---
    ---
    6th
    3
    3
    2
    ---
    ---
    7th
    3
    3
    2
    0
    ---
    8th
    3
    3
    3
    1
    ---
    9th
    3
    3
    3
    2
    ---
    10th
    3
    3
    3
    2
    0


     Bard Spells Known
    Spell Level
    0
    1
    2
    3
    4
    Caster Level
    ---
    ---
    ---
    ---
    ---
    1st
    4
    ---
    ---
    ---
    ---
    2nd
    5
    2*
    ---
    ---
    ---
    3rd
    6
    3
    ---
    ---
    ---
    4th
    6
    3
    2*
    ---
    ---
    5th
    6
    4
    3
    ---
    ---
    6th
    6
    4
    3
    ---
    ---
    7th
    6
    4
    4
    2*
    ---
    8th
    6
    4
    4
    3
    ---
    9th
    6
    4
    4
    3
    ---
    10th
    6
    4
    4
    4
    2*
    * Provided the bard has a high enough Charisma score to have a bonus spell of this level.

    Bardic Knowledge: A bard picks up a lot of stray knowledge while wandering the land and learning stories from other bards. He may make a special bardic knowledge check with a bonus equal to his bard level + his Intelligence modifier to see whether he knows some relevant information about local notable people, legendary items, or noteworthy places.

    A successful bardic knowledge check will not reveal the powers of a magic item but may give a hint as to its general function. A bard may not take 10 or take 20 on this check; this sort of knowledge is essentially random.

    Bardic Music: Once per day per bard level, a bard can use his song or poetics to produce magical effects on those around him (including himself, if desired). While these abilities fall under the category of bardic music and include descriptions of singing or playing instruments, they can all also be activated by reciting poetry, chanting, singing lyrics or melodies, etc. Each ability requires a minimum bard level and a minimum number of ranks in the Perform skill to qualify.

    Starting a bardic music effect is a standard action. Some bardic music abilities require concentration, which means the bard must take a standard action each round to maintain the ability. While using bardic music, a bard can fight but cannot perform mind-affecting abilities, such as casting spells, activating magic items by spell completion (such as scrolls) or activating magic items by magic word (such as wands). The following are a bard's musical abilities:

  • Countersong: A bard with three or more ranks in the Perform skill can use his music or poetics to counter magical effects that depend on sound (but not spells that simply have verbal components). The bard may keep up the countersong for 10 rounds. Each round of the countersong, he makes a Perform check. Any creature within 30 feet of the bard (including the bard himself ) that is affected by a sonic or language-dependent magical attack (such as a Sound Burst or Command spell) may use the bard's Perform check result in place of its saving throw if, after the saving throw is rolled, the Perform check result proves to be higher.

    If a creature within range of the countersong is already under the effect of a non-instantaneous sonic or language-dependent magical attack, it gains another saving throw against the effect each round it hears the countersong, but it must use the bard's Perform check result for the save. Countersong will not influence effects that don't allow saves.


  • Fascinate: A bard with three or more ranks in the Perform skill can use his music or poetics to cause one or more creatures to become fascinated. The bard can execute no other action besides movement during the round that the creature is fascinated. Each creature must be within 90 feet and able to see, hear and pay attention to the bard. Likewise, the bard must be able to see the creature. For every three levels beyond 1st, he can target one additional creature with a single use of this ability (e.g. two at 4th level, three at 7th level, four at 10th level).

    To fascinate, a bard makes a Perform check. His check result is the DC for each affected creature's Will save against the effect. If the creature's saving throw is successful, a bard can still attempt to fascinate the same creature as many times as the bard's daily performance limit allows. If the creature's saving throw fails, it remains still and listens to the song for as long as the bard continues to play and concentrate (up to a max of one round per bard level). While fascinated, a target takes a 4 penalty on skill checks made as reactions (e.g. Listen or Spot checks).

    Any potential threat to the target, such as an ally of the bard approaching the creature, requires the bard to make another Perform check and allows the creature a new saving throw against a DC equal to the new Perform check result. Any obvious threat to the target, such as someone drawing a weapon or the creature taking damage, automatically breaks the effect and the creature will no longer be fascinated.


  • Inspire Courage: A bard with three or more ranks in the Perform skill can use song or poetics to inspire courage in his allies and himself, bolstering against fear and improving combat abilities. To be affected, an ally must be able to hear the bard sing and the effect lasts as long as the bard can be heard and for five rounds thereafter. The ally will receive a +1 morale bonus on saving throws against charm and fear effects and a +1 morale bonus on attack and weapon damage rolls. At 8th level, this bonus increases to +2.


  • Inspire Competence: A bard of 3rd level or higher with six or more ranks in the Perform skill can use his music or poetics to help an ally succeed at a task. A bard cannot inspire competence in himself. The ally must be within 30 feet and able to see and hear the bard; likewise, the bard must be able to see the ally. Bardic music may be used to lift the ally's spirits, to help them mentally focus, or in some other manner. The ally gets a +2 competence bonus on skill checks with a particular skill as long as they continue to hear the bard's music. The effect lasts as long as the bard concentrates, up to a maximum of two minutes.


  • Intimidate: A bard of 6th level or higher with nine or more ranks in the Perform skill can cause a single creature to be intimidated while the creature is fascinated. Using this ability does not break the bard's concentration on the fascinate effect, nor does it allow a second saving throw for the target. The use of Intimidate counts toward a bard's daily limit on performances. The creature is affected if it fails a Will saving throw (DC 11 + bard's Charisma modifier). If the saving throw fails, affected creatures move away from the bard as if they are victim of a Fear spell for the number of rounds equal to the number of levels the bard has.


  • Inspire Greatness: A bard of 9th level or 10th level with 12 or more ranks in the Perform skill can use music or poetics to inspire greatness in himself or a single willing ally within 30 feet, granting extra fighting capabilities. To inspire greatness, a bard must sing and be heard by an ally. The effect lasts for as long as the ally hears the bard sing and for five rounds thereafter. A creature inspired with Greatness gains two bonus Hit Dice (d10s), the commensurate number of temporary hit points (apply the target's Constitution modifier, if any, to these bonus Hit Dice), a +2 competence bonus on attack rolls and a +1 competence bonus on Fortitude saves. The bonus Hit Dice count as regular Hit Dice for determining the effect of spells such as Sleep.

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